Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas 2022

January 3, 2023

This Christmas started with one kufuffle after another.

Family Christmas Dinner – huge snow storm buries my brother so he & his family can’t some down on Christmas Eve Eve for our family dinner. Only time of the year we get all 13+ of us together because of distance

Brunch – That didn’t happen. I had suggested to my parents & Mom agreed that we were going to have brunch when I got up in the late morning. I get up, go up with my cinnamon buns in hand.. I find dirty breakfast dishes. They are without me, but the atebmy cinnamon buns.. while I had to make myself something besides just cinnamon buns.

Pictures – We did family pj pictures This is something my Sister’s and brother’s families each do. Mom insisted we do it too. (My sister nor my bother did it). She complained when I only took two pictures, but the first one was a keeper.

Turnip – When I’m doing something new I need completely clear step by step instructions. Which is why I’m great with recipes. I’ve never made turnip for Christmas dinner. I got told throw turnip into a pot & put it on the stove. After softens add butter brown sugar. That was the totally of instruction I was given. Take 1. I toss the turnip & only turnip in the pot I figure I was guessing the turnip softened on its own. Well, not really. Take 2. I put the damn stuff in a pot with water this time, to boil – finally clued into that. But they burned in only a few short minutes. Take 3. Third time’s the charm right? Well, this time with strict adult supervision & instruction I was finally successful under the watchful eye of my BiL & niece..

Dessert – I literally forgot to bake it.. Both the apple crisp & pie. Luckily the pumpkin pie was pre baked

BUT This Christmas was on blessing after another.

Family – Everyone is safe, health & whole. Except for Uncle Barry who passed just before the holiday.

Food – We were blessed to have not one, but two Christmas dinners (& I got ac YE one too)… With 2 kinds of meat, multiple vegetables, potatoes, buns, dessert and a ton of leftovers

Memories – Good memories are made over the holidays. My nephew who lost it trying to play Cards Against Humanity. My VR skills where I used the light sabers on my sister’s tv tables. The first bottle of alcohol for Christmas from anyone & it’s the 21yo niece..

Learning – Learning new skills, specifically how to make, and not make turnip for Christmas dinner.

Family Time – The opportunity to spend time with the family you can see. Even tho he & his family were unable to make it, they were missed & they still will get their Christmas cookies!

Christmas Gifts – I’m one of these people whole, while like to receive gifts, it’s the giving of them that unlike most. Now I did very much appreciate when I did get – weighted blanket, electrical blanket, ton of clothes, alcohol, home made scarf & hat with matching scarf for Lilly (so cute), & a favourite Aunt mug. I asked my nephew if he really thought that & he said yes, but yer my only aunt. So my sister & I start rhyming off the names of the rest of his aunts. He clarifies, only biologically related aunt, which is technically true.

As always, everyone loved what it got them. Two were too big (one fit me so that was a bonus for me), and resulted in quality shopping time with my sister getting her clothes worth 1½ times, almost, for the budget. & Then the cookies. Esp when my one neice realized that her cookies were gluten-free & still baked by me.


So while there were stupid things, annoying things & uncontrollable weather, we are still blessed.

Christmas Cookies

December 30, 2022

Every year for Christmas, I bake cookies to give to friends and family for gifts. To make it easy on myself, I buy some of the dough pre-made. This also allows for a little more variety than if I just made six batches of peanut butter cookies or sugar cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I tried something different this year. Yes, I still bought the pre-mix dough and I also still mixed up some dough. What was different this year is that I only baked the cookies that I needed as I needed them. Previous years I would bake all the cookies and then freezing them all.

While this does take more time, it has been spread out over multiple days. It limits doing repetitive and eventually very painful actions for hours & hours on end. Plus, I’m also not spending one day constantly baking

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

The other benefit is that for most people, the cookies are fresh – straight from the oven almost in most cases..

Various Type of Cookies on Cooling Racks

Unfortunately, I did not see my brother’s family this year due to a really bad storm the day before our family dinner. He was still digging out with intermittent power. His eldest god to school near me, so I will send the family’s cookies home with her after the holiday break. Until then, they are frozen cuz dough only remains good for a limited period of time.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

The only other ones that were baked & frozen were the gluten free ones for my neice’s & SiL’s gluten intolerances. That was done for two reasons. First to ensure that all the gluten-free products were baked on a gluten-free surface and not switching between gluten-free and regular cookies. Second to keep all the gluten-free cookies together. I didn’t want to get them mixed up.

Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2022
Happy Holidays

From my House to Yours, Best Wishes to you & yours this Holiday season & all year through.

• Happy Hanukkah •

+ Merry Christmas +

^ Joyous Kwanzaa ^

* Happy New Years*

Christmas For Me

December 20, 2022

Christmas is a funny time. I am a big fan of Christmas: the decorations, the gift giving, the food, the comradery, the joy, the love, the good-will. But I’ve also experienced the inverse at Christmas: the sadness, the lack of motivation, the sence of obligation, the loneliness, the isolation, the soal crushing depression.

I can & do get depressed just as everything starts & it can take a while to get into the holiday groove. This year, as always, I start wearing Sanata hats on December to “fake it til I make it.” But, I’d started getting into the holiday mindset by the beginning of the month – I was already in the Christmas mentality by December 3rd.

Santa Hat starts December 1st, every year.

THIS YEAR IS A GOOD YEAR!!

The Tree & Decorations:

The girls came over on December 11 to decorate the big tree with me. Doing the while thing is overwhelming. Plus it’s been a reoccurring tradition for most of the last 20 years. It is a 6½ ft spruce tree that goes upstairs in Mom & Dad’s big front window so it can be seen from outside.

The nativity screen they choose was the small set my Grandmother made. Next year they want to set out their Grandma’s set, the set I grew up having While similar to my grandmother’s set, their Grandma’s, Mom’s, set is significantly extensive. It has, possibly, 3x the number of pieces I have and would take up the entire self as oppose to the 8″x12″ manager I use.

The stockings are hanging off the heavy stocking hangers near the Nativity scene, on the same shelf. There are three, for stockings for Mom, Dad & I.

MY Tree & Decorations:

Several years ago, I got a dollar store 8″ tree. I put a bit of tinsel ribbon on it & a doz small ornaments. I’ve since raised the small ornaments & will be donating that tree off. Two years ago, I bought a 18″ tinsel tree with a single strand of lights &’some small shiny ornaments. I’ve been using that in my space for the last few years.

This year, I just purchased a proper artificial 3 foot pine tree. While it was prelit, I added a second strand of coloured lights & might add another strand next year. I ransacked the 2 above trees & relocated their ornaments. I also pilfered some of the ornaments from the big tree, ones that are personal to me

I bought a topper from Dollarama, painted it & it looks not too shabby. I also started painting some of those dollars store ornaments, but I’m not doing them all cuz I don’t like them all. Gerry, my bestie, is 3D-printing some specific ornaments for me to paint. They may not be done until after Christmas. But they will be awesome for next year.

I have my small Precious Moments Nativity scene on the table under my tree. I have a single stocking holder that’s I’ve had for years with a single stocking hanging from it. There are several Christmas plushies across the apartment. And I finally plugged in my laptop’s usb decorations.

I didn’t pull out Father Christmas this year for two reasons. Firstly, I couldn’t find him for the first two weeks of December. Secondly, I realized he doesn’t match anything in my home now. The pastel coloured robs just don’t work anymore with my colours. They almost clash, so I left him there for this year tho I should make sure his head is attached.

Gifts:

I’ve gotten most of my shopping done. As per usual, I’ve overspent. But at this point, I only need to pick up Lilly’s cookies.

I still need to put the cookie factory into high gear. Got 2-3 recipes from scratch this year including some gluten free options.. Thinking of Nanaimo bars for Christmas if I can.

Kellis Cookie Factory is Open

I’ve already sent or dropped cookies out to Megan/Evan, Lindsay/Aaron, Declan, Jenn/Chris & Dale. On the 23rd we have the family dinner and thus need the cookies for all the nieces, nephews and their partners.. This means 4 lg bundles & 4 smaller bundles . One of each needs to have gluten free. Beyond that, I have 2-3 larger packs and 5-6 small packs.

I *may* need to go over to Dollarama for a pack of licorice for my mom, for her stocking cuz, well, I ate it.. lol

Food:

  • Besides the dozens and dozens of dozens of cookies I will bake?
  • Besides the NINE different type of cookies I expect to bake (or non-bake)?
  • Besides the Yummy Nanaimo Bars I’ve been craving for weeks that I’m hoping to make for Christmas? 2 kinds!

Family Christmas dinner:

I am responsible for the vegetables. I have bought some flash Frozen vegetables: green beans, corn, brocoli & turnip. I’m hoping I can borrow my sister’s steamer for the first three & mom can help with the later, since she’s the only one who consistently eats it.

I think, since no one has said anything for buns for Christmas, that I’ll probably have to make my cheese buns. *Eyeroll*

Christmas Morning:

I am at my sister’s for Christmas morning/brunch, while I haven’t been asked to bring anything, I grabbed 2 packs of large cinnamon rolls. My dad also picked up bacon for me.

Back Bacon, Bacon & Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas Dinner:

I’ve been asked to bring dessert.. I grabbed 2 pieces & an apple crisp/apple crumble.. picked up icecream everyone else can eat & the ice cream I can eat .

My Friends

On top of everything else, I have social activities.. Sometimes dinner, Sometimes a quick chat or a coffee, Sometimes a hike, Sometimes hanging out at home (theirs or yours), Sometimes living it up! Hanging out with family, biological or choosen is always fun.

Christmas Is Busy For Me

December 15, 2022

Personally, for me, Christmas is probably the busiest time of year. Plus with personal issues that I’ve been having with different relationships, I haven’t been able to focus here very much.. so my apologies for not posting… Again…

Tis the season to be busy

Just to give you an idea. Monday was dinner out with a friend I haven’t seen in a coons ahe. Tuesday I have errands all afternoon & a cub planning meeting in the evening.. Wednesday is the Cub year end meeting, a social gathering & baking both before & after those. Thutsday I have to organize the baking, getting some ready for me to post as well as for friends this weekend. In the evening, I’m off to my sister’s for hair & a walk with the dogs. Friday, weather permitting, I’m getting the headlight fixed then I’m heading out for a social event with out-of-town friends I have not seen since Labour Day. Saturday is a coffee date (Whoo hoo!!) Sunday is soccer.. I still need to do groceries: normal groceries, Christmas dinner groceries, cookie baking groceries.. then, more baking as our family Christmas is on the 23rd.. plus wrapping presents for Mom, Dad, Sister & her family & a friend who I exchange with for more than just cookies..

So, yeah . Busy….

Christmas is like College Final Exam Week

And I’m probably missing stuff in the schedule..

Plus I need to fit in exercise, a hot tub or two or 6, plus other personal self care & put up my second tree.. & make some ornaments..

Keep calm, it's only Christmas

So, ALOT goes on a Christmas..

Post-Christmas Crash 2020

January 1, 2021

Every year the inevitable happens. I manage decently enough getting ready for Christmas, pacing myself trying not to overdo it. Every year I end up failing miserably before the holidays end.

Some years I’ve managed to get through Christmas Day with a nap and crash afterwards. . Some years I’ve actually had to postpone Christmas from the morning to the afternoon and eventually this became consistent as I really get up any day before noon. I’ve even had two years where I didn’t do Christmas with my family or anyone just because my crash hit before the holiday.

The most common reaction is to hit my wall on Christmas Day in the evening… After I get back from wherever I’ve been.. Fortunately, with the improvement of my Fibro over the last almost 5 years, that is shifting.. Crashes are less severe and don’t typically last for week or more on end..

This year, I did well! Before you say that’s it cuz of covid & no one did anything, it’s not true. Christmas this year is not *that* different.

As per the norm, I baked cookies. I give these his gifts to friends, family & my pain physician. It’s not uncommon for me to purchase premade dough however this year I made two different types of cookies from scratch. I have one of those cookies I ended up making up 4 batches. I don’t know how many cookies I made in total but in the end I had enough for two’s cookie swaps with my Cub packs, 3 small baggies, of a half dozen, 8 larger bags of a baker dozen, & 5large bags for almost 2 dozen cookies. I also did up one package of two dozen Brier Rabbit cookies (that’s the recipe I made for of) for a friend of mine who specifically likes that type of cookie.. After all that, I still had some left over.. That’s almost 400 cookies this year.

Cookies From My Cubs

As I usually do, I also did my Christmas shopping in person. I don’t like doing a lot of shopping online unless I know exactly what it is like books. So I do gifts for my sister and her family and my parents every year as well as select friends including my best friend and her family This year I also got a few things for my brother’s family beyond cookies.. Plus stocking stuffers for my Mom and Dad.. So gifts for about 20 people this year.

Because of COVID my deliveries have been different this year.. but I have made them and have had short safe visits with friends. I stopped at my 2nd bff’s on Christmas Eve Day and we had a short safe visit. . Christmas Day was spent with my parents followed by a social distanced gift exchange with my Sister’s family. Afterwards, I stopped by another friend’s later on also for a short safe visit to exchange small gifts. Come Boxing Day, I had a longer, yet still safe visit with my BFF & her family. Finally, I saw another friend that evening and gave him his cookies & gifts..

So Boxing Day evening I hit my wall (My Wile E Coyote IG post shows it well). When I got home about 8:30, I crawled into bed & slept. I ended up overheating in my sleep but you can read more about that here.. Otherwise for the next 24 hours, I slept, only getting up so myself & Lilly could use the facilities and to feed her.

Since then my pain levels have been up and so has my fatigue.. I’ve done very little over this last week. I had a Cub Scout planning meeting on the 27th via Zoom. I’ve had a visit or 2 with Mom & Dad as they only live upstairs.. I fixed a mask, having to replace the elastic & add a third layer. I have watched TV, I have player video games on my phone & I’ve slept.

Do I consider myself bedridden? No.. I’m able to function.. I can get up & take the dog out & Ake myself some food and do liw energy activities. So why am I not doing more? Cuz if I do things will go downhill.. Right now I’m just keeping the course steady so that my body can rest, relax, recuperate and heal..

Christmas with Chronic Health Issues

December 23, 2020

The holiday season is supposed to be the hap-happiest time, the most wonderful time of the year!
Unfortunately, it comes with a lot of stress and expectations. Many healthy or ‘normal’ people can find it difficult. Those dealing with chronic illnesses like fibro, CFS/ME, lupus, etc have it worse.. Unfortunately, for someit is the worst time of the year.

Here are some strategies that can help when things get hectic:

• Pace yourself. Conserve your energy and taking it slow.
• Say “No”: You can only do so much. If you overextend yourself, that can & usually does instigate a flare in symptoms.
• Ask for help. Again, you can only do so much. Ask someone else to help out with what you can’t do like stringing up the lights
• Stop the crash by stopping before it happens. . If you go until you’re too tired or too sore or too stressed to do more then you most definitely will crash. “Just do one or two more things, or visit one or two more shops, or go down one or two more aisles'” – this thought process only leads to decreased health..
• Keep it simple. —Decorate but not as much, celebrate—but not as much, cook if you can—but not as much.”
• Put some extra thought in any travel plans (well, not a an issue this year, but in the future) traveling during the holidays. A busy travel schedule can be hell. Give yourself the time you need .. To recover from a travel day.. To rest between flights& have sufficient layover.. & Bring what you need to travel. Be it snacks, water, ear plugs, eye mask, medications . Plan ahead and pace yourself.
• Prep food ahead of time. Get the veggies ready to throw in the pot, make the potatoes the day before, roll & fill the pies a week or two before & freeze.. If you do breakfast, mix up your eggs, or pancake mix or French toast egg dip prior.. the night before so it ready on Christmas morning.
• Organuze. Set the dinning room table the week before, or the kitchen the night or two prior to whatever extent you can.
• Leave guilt behind! Take a reality check. You have a chronic pain illness which limits what and how much you can do. Do not blaming yourself because you can’t provide the same elaborate holiday festivities you once did. Don’t even try to do everything you think your family expects from you. Don’t put those expectations on yourself – they are not realistic aspirations.
• Set priorities. You can no longer do every single holiday traditions you used to. You now have to determine what means the most to you & consider the energy levels required. Some can be modified like I stead of going walking to check out Christmas, you take a drive to check out the lights. So, again, be realistic.
• Avoid overnight visitors if you can.. If you can’t, set the expectations like ‘I’m not making you breakfast, but help yourself’ or ‘I don’t get up until 10am so they know not to knock off n my door unless it’s an emergency.’ or ‘Can you please strip the bed before you go – just toss them into a pile on the floor for me to wash.’
• If you are hosting, you can (again, not this year) ask each one to bring one or two dishes, So my sister brings the turkey, my be CES do the stuffing & gravy, my brother brings the vegetables, Mom brings the desserts.. This leaves yourself only one or two simple items to prepare. In this case bun’s & potatoes. OR just go somewhere for dinner or even a family vacation together over Christmas .
• Organize your gift giving. Keep a list of who is getting gifts & what, so you won’t have the foggy moment of ‘Did I get this for Uncle John, Cousin Sue, or my brother?’ I even make note on where to get things so I’m not heading the same time 3 times. Plus My cookie list: I make 3 different sized bundles of cookies every year. A small ½dozen to the little guys or extended family, 2 doz to the nieces, nephews, godchildren (no, Kaden, my Godson and my nephew does not get two no matter how much he’d like that), & 3 doz to bff’s, my pain doc, & the bf’s…
• While it may be more expensive, the extra cost may be worth it to shop online. You avoid the stress and exhaustion of holiday shopping in crowds of people & lots on scencury impact. Gifts can sometimes be sent directly to the recipients, saving you the hassle of finding a box, packaging the gifts and waiting in line at the post office.
• Use gift bags instead of traditional wrapping or there are decorative boxes that you can just drop something in, tape it, add ribbon & done. It is physically stressful on the body to wrap gift after gift.. My back always gives out.
• What your diet!.. Do not over eat. Take home leftovers for later instead. If you eat too much, especially too fast, you just know your body will retaliate in some manner. And avoid all the extra sugar available at this time of year, cookies, cakes, candies, pastries…
• Change your schedule as little as possible. The changes on Christmas Holiday & especially Christmas day frequently send our bodies out of whack,. Try & keep your normal activities going.. Keep up with an exercise regime. Stick, to a relative amount, with your regular diet. Keep your sleep schedule as close to normal, if you have your book club meeting stops for 2 weeks, schedule a chat with on of your friends at the same time so that you are still doing something in lieu..
• While I keep seeing the recommendation of avoiding Eggnog, I can’t agree with this, but you do need to be careful. Egg Nog has both milk/cream & eggs in it so those sensitivities need to be confirmed. If you are buying your eggnog, be aware there a ton of preservatings, thickeners & other chemicals in it. If you make it from scratch – eggs, milk, sugar & vanilla, and while it tastes better, you can not keep it around forever, even in the fridge.
• Take time for yourself.Even if it’s just two slow deep breath’s, or an hour meditation, or ordering dinner in or doing your nails.. Self care at this time if year is just as important, especially with the limitations & upcoming 1 month lockdown here where I am.

With everything going on at Christmas time, it’s inevitable that while you may not X ash, you’re not going to feel great on Boxing Day. . If possible, just stay home and rest. The more time you can take, the better.

It’s also pertainent that these tips you need not only be aware of during the holidays, be the rest of the year throughb as well.

Merry Christmas

COVID Christmas

December 19, 2020

As of writing this entry, the area in Ontario which I live is at level red. This may change before Christmas as it is currently being revisited. But what this means is that while we are not on lockdown, broader, more stringent measures & limitations are in effect..

Our health department recommends that families should not visit any other household or allow visitors in their homes. Everyone should avoid social gatherings.

Avoid in-person gatherings.

Celebrate only with members of your household.

Connect virtually with loved-ones and friends outside of your household.

Avoid travelling.

Follow all public health guidelines.

Stay home if you’re sick or have symptoms.

What does that mean for me? It means our initial plans for Christmas with my sister’s family is now out. We had planned out a safe socially distanced day, but it no.longer is considered a ‘safe’ plan. So it looks like we will be doing virtual Christimas.

Once I know what we finally decide on – I’ll let you know.